Sunday, October 21, 2018

Orange is for October : Little Things

I needed a new Kindle cover, as my old one was getting tired and shabby.  I still love that Klimt-inspired fabric, but it was time to retire it ...  No button this time, as it kept getting caught on things in my bag.  Though I have to say, that pretty little button was durable through the years. 

So instead, I worked up the Kindle cover above with the last of that orange and green fabric.  Makes me smile!

And this ... more orange and black!

Second, I added some color to the cuffs of a pair of jeans.

At Quilt Camp, one of the ladies, was wearing jeans leg cuffs embellished with embroidery.  I could have done that with the fancy stitches on my sewing machine -- when I got around to it. 
Instead, I spotted a roll of trim at St. Vinny's for $1.  Yes!  I thought : I have an easy way to add color to my jeans!  And cheaper than the gorgeous trim at La Droguerie in Toulouse, France.

[I know -- You young people don't like my baggy jeans, but hey-- You don't get to say what clothes I feel comfortable in.   And frankly, I like to see you cringe and squirm at the sight of it.  ;-)  That's the beauty of getting older--Not caring what other people think.  I hope you grow into that joy some day sooner than later.  It makes life so much easier! ]

And just because it's so orange, I am hearkening back to this image that I worked up in 2014 of a wonderful old walnut tree in my neighborhood (no longer here) and a Citrasolved National Geographic background. 

 Don't forget this Harvest Moon, also from 2014, though the branches of that same walnut tree.

Monday, October 15, 2018

New Spinning Wheel : Schacht-Reeves Saxony Wheel in Cherry

The new spinning wheel is here!  It's a beauty!  
I think I'll call her Claire. 

This video was very helpful in getting things all set up.

I started with that new creamy alpaca.  But it was like I was a brand new and learning to spin again.  It's always that way getting to know a new piece of equipment.

I was having trouble with the double drive-band staying in the grooves of the big wheel  It must not have been lined up properly.  Finally, I gave up on that, and just doubled it up, with both strands on the whorl, and went with the Scotch tension on the bobbin instead.  I got that to work better, but I could feel a lot of extra drag with that method --  It was harder to treadle, too --  I was almost considering up-grading to the double treadle as the other foot would pick up where the wheel gets slow and wants to go backwards. I never had that trouble with the Louet S90.    Felt like I was fighting it--which tells me it needed some more adjustments.

Then I tried some black alpaca and sheep's wool mix that had been beautifully carded.  It was light and airy, very easy to work with, and things got to much easier.

My husband did the math, and figured out which whorl I should be using that would be roughly equivalent to the one I usually use on the Louet -- which is the middle one.    For the Schacht, it's the larger whorl with the biggest setting.   Things were getting even easier to work!

Then I got brave and decided to try the double drive band again.  It worked so much easier this time.  Much less drag, and the treadling was also easier.  Still not sure I understand how to adjust the tension properly, but I'll figure it out.

So far I have about 1/2-a bobbin full already. Some really bad yarn, and some pretty decent yarn on top.

I think we have a good understanding of each other now.  I think she'll be very happy here.  ;-)

Fiber basket  -- currently filled with a mix of black alpaca and black sheep's wool carded into a large-ish cloud-like batt.  Very soft and easy to spin on the new wheel.    Silk scarf from St. Vinny's.  They didn't have much for baskets lately, so I picked up the basket at Hobby Lobby in a pinch.  I'll be on the lookout for a better one -- like the one my mom has.  Maybe she'll give me that one for Christmas?  [Hint Hint.]

Tiny Tools Basket
A little welcome gift for the new wheel.  I made one of these little fabric boxes from 2 12-inch squares of fabric quilted with a layer of batting.  Instructions are here.     We made them one time at Quilt Camp at Silver Birch Ranch.  The Louet has one, too.  Perfect for a small bottle of oil, big ol' coconut button diz, threading hook, and any other little sundries that might be needed.   

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Missives from Quilt Camp October 2018 at Lake Lucerne, WI

Look Ma ---  What I got done at Quilt Camp last wkd :
This was such a wonderful, relaxing, and productive quilt retreat.  I feel fortunate to be included in this group of quilting friends.   Also neat to see what everyone else is working on, too.

Enveloping a quilt with a wool batt. [I wrote about this process a few years ago ...]
At quilt camp, I have room to spread out on long tables, and work with the quilt layers laid out flat.  It makes it so much easier!  

I think I gained some "street cred" with the ladies for bringing a wool batt to sandwich into a quilt.  ;-)      My friend Karla S. had given me the batt because she knew I'd actually use it.  I was having a hard time deciding how to free-motion quilt this one, and finally settled on tie-ing it with a wool batt.  It will be toasty and warm this winter.     Someone suggested I might have had the batt re-carded before I used it.  I hadn't thought of that ...  I also did not want to delay the process any longer.

In this picture above, the quilt is already turned right-side-out.  The batting is now encased, and I am pinning the edges for the  faux binding.

Here's the back-side.  You can see why I say faux binding.  It naturally folds itself over just like a regular binding. 

Here it is back home in my sewing studio where I've just finished going around the borders 3x to secure the batting at the edges of the quilt.  Otherwise it may have a tendency to scoot inwards, leaving some sections with no batting.   You can also see my wonderful quilt suspension system, that saves so much stress on my neck, shoulders, and back.  The next step is to start tying the flower blocks and the blue/pink blocks.  At present, they are pinned with safety pins to hold them in place.

2 more turned flower appliques for the Morningstar Quilt.
Just 1 more large flower to go, 7 small ones, 3 finials, and all the vines.

Winter Trees Landscape Quilt

A simple little landscape quilt.  I got the tree trunks and branches cut out and fused on.  This was a kit purchased at the old Quilt Shop in Antigo, WI.  

One of the ladies at Quilt Camp said that there was a special exhibit for Nancy Zeiman's landscape quilts at Quilt Expo in Madison in September.  She died earlier in the year.

Batik Blocks
This is another UFO (unfinished object) that I probably started 10 years ago.  It started out as a batik jelly roll (2-1/2 inch strips).  I was delighted to discover that I had already matched up and sewn the strips light + dark.  So I felt like I had a jump start on this one.   After pressing everything flat, all I had to do was cut them into bite-sized pieces, and sew them into 2x2 blocks.  I had the stacks of each flavor, and just matched them up systematically.  Then add the black "leading."  It was a great mindless sewing project for the end of camp, when you are getting tired, and just want to do some production sewing that will pay off, but doesn't make you think or design too much.

 Here's the stack all nicely pressed, and ready for the design wall.

The ladies always have lots of ideas and inspiration.

My friend, Shirley [in yellow] was back this year.  She missed last year due to a myriad of health problems.  She's been working hard in PT, and with her health care team, and was able to come back this year.  She's doing much better than I've seen her before.     The first time I came to this Quilt Retreat about 10 years ago, I was seated in the far corner with the other newbies.  Apparently, the light was not good there, and no one else wanted to sit there.  Shirley, me and Liz Lahm had a wonderful time getting to know each other. Later we "graduated," and moved to the opposite corner where we get to sit by Laura R.     This year, Laura was across the table from me, and Shirley was beside me at the next table. 

Shirley was working on a kit she picked up at Hancock's of Paducah this summer.  I was in love with the colors and kept teasing her ...  "How are you coming on MY quilt?  Purple and turquoise are my colors, you know."

Here's the whole thing.  [Laura is holding it up, while Shirley (in the yellow shirt) talks about it.]
Shirley was saying that she mistakenly turned one of the blocks in the top row the wrong way.  She was going to change it, but everyone there unanimously told her to leave it as it is, because it looks more like a spiral.    Sometimes the best ideas come from unintentional mistakes!  From mistake to design choice!

Me and Laura Ramseier
October 2018 at Lake Lucerne, WI.